A bright morning it was, sun at the center of the sky, blue as ever, thinning clouds scattering as cloth rips in the atmosphere.
Soft clicks and knocks, of doors closing; opening, and locking shut once done, with patters of feet moving about the wooden floors, an distorted sign of a airy groan soon filled the silence of the afternoon day.
â€œRough morning, huh?â€ Asked; a tried voice that was nearby the other.
The groaner looked across and down to see a young man, baggy gray coat, with hints of a long black t-shirt at the ends of the sleeves and end of the coat, and tatter jeans, bent down, fixing his shoelaces, not taking in notice of being stared at.
A hand gesture and a shrug was his only answer, creeping up his pale blue jacket as he did, quickly fixing up the low ponytail of their hair, the other not seeing it, before done with his laces, did he look up again and asked for repeat when the otherâ€™s hair was back in place.
Only a shrug this time was given.
â€œLost your voice or something?â€
The other only patted the open skin that showed neck, tracing faint bruises, faded, but still visible.
â€œThe bastard got a name or an address at least?â€
The other only rolled their eyes, mockingly punched the man in the arm, taking a moment to straighten up the turtle neck sweater, enough to cover the bruises. Sparing a moment to give another sign to the man, before they took down the stairs of the apartment building out to the parking lot, sounds of wood dull to stone in matter of minutes.
â€œWhat was she doing here last night?â€
A quick shrug in reply.
The man gave a sigh, shaking his head in disbelief, before saying. â€œIs it really worth not giving me any hint of this shit, not one thing?â€
The other shook their head in a motion of that answer wasnâ€™t going to happen any time soon.
â€œUnbelievable . . . thatâ€™s just . . .â€
â€œPlease, Randy, just stop.â€
The words came out in cracks, dried away and sandpaper rough, lack was sleep echoed along in the eyes that ran in slivers of red around the iris, the eyelids barely staying open from little hours of sleep and the bright sun.
â€œYou donâ€™t have to go today, Iâ€™ll just tell them youâ€™re sick and canâ€™t make it.â€
â€œNo . . .â€ The other weakly reply back, keeping their head down, away from the man and the sun, soon adding in the following. â€œI canâ€™t miss today. Itâ€™s my last warning and one step away from losing the one thing thatâ€™s keeping me away from them.â€
â€œThatâ€™s why she was here?â€ Randy asked, stopping his steps looking to his friend, hand reaching out to stop the other from moving and most likely falling from a misstep.
A nod was given when he pulled away.
Randy place his hands over his face to keep the anger from coming out, running his hands up his face and through his hair, sending locks in different directions, soon smoothing them out, eyes still on his friend when doing so.
â€œPerry . . . you canâ€™t keep living like this! With them breathing down your neck to go back . . . and that woman is overstepping her boundaries here.â€ Randy stated, glancing at Perryâ€™s upper sweater.
â€œSheâ€™s blood to me, Randy, she has a right to act to out and be like this. The only thing she canâ€™t do is force me back, neither, her nor the others.â€
â€œBut Perry, man, youâ€™re just digging your own grave at this rate. Go tell them straight and be done with them.â€
â€œIf only they were that understanding as you, Randy, but alas, that doesnâ€™t come easy. Even of what she said was true about what is going on back at home, why in the world would I do it, when the results are not even in my favor to leave after it.â€
Randy listened on as Perry went on about his family, eyeing a street clock to see it wasnâ€™t until another two hours until getting to work, and his friend was in needed for some coffee.
After three stoplights, they walked into a cafÃ©, Randy telling or in short matters order Perry to go find a place for them to sit, as he got the drinks. Perry gave a deep breath of a nod, and went to do so.
Not long when they were sitting together, by a window, having a fine view of the small town they lived in.
In shorts of the silence, Randy broke it with a question.
â€œSo whatâ€™s wrong with the old geezer?â€
â€œStroke; a level six I believe, it has left him bedridden for the last month or so. Shanton has become very restless because of it. Asking, pleading, and acting out for me to come home and help out.â€
Randy leaned on his open hand, as it elbowed the table to keep his head up, the other rising the cup to mouth once in a while for a slip. An eyebrow rose from Perry words.
â€œThey do know heâ€™s the reason you left and skip like water stones to over here, right?â€
â€œWhatever they do know, itâ€™s only fatherâ€™s side.â€
â€œThis is just bull.â€
â€œI can only agree with you at this point.â€
To that, they went on chatting, changing the topic about what was to come at work. Randy stating to Perry that if he feels too ill to work, he calls it a day and go home. Yelling boss or not, Perry guilty knew his friend was going to handle whatever their boss through at him.
Later that night, Perry was able to handle a dayâ€™s work and able to fit in a few more hours of work than normal, before calling it in. He and Randy clocked out; heading to a close by diner they usually went to for dinner, before going home.
Sitting at the bar, ordering, and waited. Their chatter soon followed that as clockwork.
â€œYou could have left early.â€
â€œAnd have the Mr. Weningham pretty much hang you, no thank you.â€
â€œWhat, it wouldnâ€™t be that bad, it would have been worst if he didnâ€™t deiced to bring his daughter to work today. Than I would have kissed my ass goodbye, but she makes like an overgrown pup, I wouldnâ€™t even get a bark out of him.â€
â€œAlways finding excuses, yes?â€
Randy just flipped the bird to the otherâ€™s teasing tone, grinning happily for the change of mood and that the food came just in time.
â€œI am willing to say I do, but I have reasons.â€
â€œI think you meant excuses, Randall.â€
â€œQuiet, only my mother calls me that ugly adult name.â€ Randy replied back, flinging a piece of veggie at Perry that landed just on the rim of his plate.
â€œMay at least let one think you are one, you overgrown child.â€ Perry said in return, a light laughter left his lips not long later.
Randy was about to give another snarky say to the other, but stopped when catching someone at the front entries of the diner walk him.
â€œOh come on, one day without this bullshit, please.â€ Randy grunted in hush words, motioning Perry to look over his left shoulder to see who it was.
â€œWhy did she bring him along?â€
â€œNot quite close, cousin. Sage is . . . how one should say it . . .â€
â€œMay as well be one, yes.â€ Perry answered in a sigh, getting up from his jacket covered chair, glancing at Randy, before back at the two at the door, stating. â€œThis will only take a moment, hopefully, be right back.â€
Perry left, leading the other two outside, speaking, faces make cold and hard at each other at each passing word.
Randy thinking the worst, even more so when the three were leaving view of the window, thinking fast, left money on the counter, grabbing his coat and Perryâ€™s jacket, soon following after them.
Rounding the block, coming near the back part of the diner, hearing voices; one he was very familiar with. Sadly, it was in their native tongue.
â€œPerry, vous savez ce n’est pas juste Ã l’oncle! Rentrez chez vous, vous faites tout vous inquiÃ©tez sur une petite tif avant vous deux. Qui est un non-sens juste inutile et totale!â€ The one named Sage stated, in the calmest anger he could pull, a loose arm wrapped around Shanton crying from part of the chat Randy must have missed.
â€œIl pourrait vous! Mais pour ce qu’il a fait Ã©tait inoubliable! Me jeter et de se dÃ©brouiller par moi-mÃªme parce qu’il ne peut pas comprendre de moi! Ni mes voies! Non, je refuse de revenir Ã cet homme! Je ne vais mÃªme pas mentir de dire que je me suis offert de cela . . . maladie, il pense que j’ai! Je ne vais pas, vous ne pouvez pas me faire!â€
â€œQu’en est-il votre ami . . . comment pensez-vous pÃ¨re aura Ã ce genre de personne. Il serait nÃ©gliger et savoir qu’il ya quelque chose de beaucoup que . . .â€ Shanton started out with, but was cut off when Perry gave a shout for her to stop.
A hand rose in matters to hit, but didnâ€™t make a motion to go on, eyeing his cousin was about to jump him if he did so.
â€œRandall n’est pas votre prÃ©occupation . . .â€ Perry started out with, toying a bit of his ponytail in thought before saying. â€œSi l’on veut l’appeler ainsi. Il vit une vie tout Ã fait unique, celui que je peux comprendre et ne pas Ãªtre pour fuir. C’est quelque chose que je sais pÃ¨re ne sera jamais. . .â€
â€œC’est une Ã©tape, vous serez plus et venez Ã la maison.â€ Shanton said to him, moving away from Sage, getting close to pull Perry into a hug, but he brushed her off.
â€œCe que je suis n’est pas une Ã©tape.â€ Perry said coldly to her, before leaving them there, grateful to Randy was near, any fear before, lingered but it wasnâ€™t the main focus anymore.
â€œShanton ne parlait pas que, Perry.â€ Sage retorted, before speaking softly to Shanton that it was best they called it a night and head back, to try again later.
Perry willed every fiber of himself not to turn around and face his family again, rushing to Randy. Thanking for bringing his jacket while slipping it on and ushered off together back to the apartment complex.
â€œOh yes, just another rift, same as always. Less hands-on this time though. Thanks for coming to look for me. Another second with Sage and it wouldnâ€™t have ended well.â€
Randy gave a nod, adding in. â€œI donâ€™t know, the dude was a bit bigger than you. I doubt I couldnâ€™t even take him down.â€
â€œI would like it if Sage stayed from you and me for the best.â€ Perry stated, glancing over his shoulder, making sure they were alone, with the last words from what Sage said echoing in his head, unknowing he leaned a bit on Randy as they walked on.
â€œUmm . . . Perry?â€
â€œYes, Randy, what is your question?â€
â€œI am in trouble with your family or something?â€
â€œWhy would you say that?â€
â€œI heard you say my name and I was just wondering if . . .â€
â€œDonâ€™t mind that. It was a slip of the tongue to get riled up is all. Nothing to worry about, I assure you.â€
â€œOkay . . .â€
The tone of use in that one word, alone made Perry sad within, with a sigh and a light push to the other, who comply with a shock grunt, but a smile with the other had one.
â€œWould it be any trouble to spend the night?â€
â€œNope: not at all in the slightest! Unless, of course, you, oâ€™ dear master Perry, are not up for a late horror movie night â€˜til dusk, and being family free from bullshit weekly?â€
â€œI fully agree and up for it. Your mother calling tonight also, monthly check up, ten sharp, not a second later.â€
â€œAw, damn it and I have hoping to have a mother and Ruby free night.â€ Randy ranted a bit in complained, but still they headed back to the apartment, walking up the side stairs to the second floor, entering into Randyâ€™s home.
â€œI call her and get the popcorn ready. You can pick the first screamer. Their all on the third, top, shelf on the left, no real order . . . so donâ€™t waste your time order them by year or anything.â€ Randy stated with the ending sounding a bit mocking, as he headed to the kitchen, as Perry headed for the living room.
Perry gave a guilty laugh when being founded out, midway of doing the deed, and just scanned the names; enthusiastically not to fix them, coming to an old movie but one that had fond memories.
Hearing boastful keenness from the kitchen, having Perry shake his head and setting the movie up, with unsure skills to get the DVD going, in time when the popcorn was done, along with the chattering, the play button was finally able to be pressed.
Resting on the couch, not long having some company, the light hum from the movie played.
â€œHavenâ€™t seen this in a while, in what a year or something, nice pick!â€ Randy called out, munching on the popcorn.
â€œThought of everything that happen today, thought something like this could smooth out the wrinkles.â€
â€œOr feeling nostalgic of someone culture.â€
â€œDonâ€™t get too full of yourself. There is only one bed and we both need to sleep on it.â€
â€œHa-ha, I forgot how to laugh, French Boy.â€
â€œAnother: nostalgic moment that it is, yes?â€
â€œOnly this time, you smell better and not look like you about to off yourself.â€
Perry rolled his eyes before adding the words. â€œA real charmer you are, Madame Randy.â€
That nickname made Randy flinch, when remembering of how that happen. Only: knowing that it was an odd way to start up a friendship, with or without a towel, in any other case.
â€œToo far . . . forgive me, Randy, I didnâ€™t think . . .â€
â€œNo, its fine, it made you to remember to knock. Iâ€™ll take it as it is.â€
Perry was about to counter that answer, but a blood chilling scream broke the chatter, bring the two back to the movie, laughing of how much that scene lack frightening it had, compare to the last time they watched, years back.
It was nearing three-thirty-five in the morning, they called it a night. Randy sparing some of his night clothes for Perry to use, less of a hassle to head over to his room to do it, soon setting themselves in bed, giving muffle goodnights.
Yet, before having sleep take its hold, Randy spoke out.
â€œThrough thick or thin?â€
A huff a chuckle was heard, before an answer.
â€œMÃªme si le monde est contre l’inconnu uniqueful.â€
Translations from French to English
Perry, vous savez ce n’est pas juste Ã l’oncle! Rentrez chez vous, vous faites tout vous inquiÃ©tez sur une petite tiff avant vous deux. Qui est un non-sens juste inutile et totale!-Perry, you know this isn’t fair to uncle! Come home, you’re making everyone worry over a small tiff before you two. Which is just pointless and utter nonsense!
-Il pourrait vous! Mais pour ce qu’il a fait Ã©tait inoubliable! Me jeter et de se dÃ©brouiller par moi-mÃªme parce qu’il ne peut pas comprendre de moi! Ni mes voies! Non, je refuse de revenir Ã cet homme! Je ne vais mÃªme pas mentir de dire que je me suis offert de cela. . . maladie, il pense que j’ai! Je ne vais pas, vous ne pouvez pas me faire!-It might to you! But for what he did was unforgettable! Throwing me out and to fend for myself because he can’t understand about me! Nor my ways! No, I refuse to go back to that man! I won’t even lie to say I treated myself of this . . . sickness, he thinks I have! I won’t, you can’t make me!
-Qu’en est-il votre ami. . . comment pensez-vous pÃ¨re aura Ã ce genre de personne. Il serait nÃ©gliger et savoir qu’il ya quelque chose de beaucoup que. . . -What about your friend . . . how do you think father will take to that kind of person. He would overlook it and know there is something much than . . .
-Randell n’est pas votre prÃ©occupation. . . si l’on veut l’appeler ainsi. Il vit une vie tout Ã fait unique, celui que je peux comprendre et ne pas Ãªtre pour fuir. C’est quelque chose que je sais pÃ¨re ne sera jamais. . . -Randell is none of your concern . . . if one was to call it that. He lives a very unique life, one I can understand and not be shun for. He’s something I know father will never become . . .
-C’est une Ã©tape, vous serez plus et venez Ã la maison. -It’s a stage, you’ll be over it and come home.
-Ce que je suis n’est pas une Ã©tape. -What I am is not a stage.
-Shanton ne parlait pas que, Perry. -Shanton wasn’t talking about that, Perry.
-Madame Randy -Madam Randy
-MÃªme si le monde est contre l’inconnu uniqueful.-Even when the world is against the uniqueful unknown.